Stacking the Shelves and Mini-Reviews: MARA, The Sky is Everywhere, and The Word Exchange

I did say that I’d try to get back onto reviewing, didn’t I? 🙂 Anyways, I went to the library recently and got soooo many books. Links to goodreads!

stacking-the-shelves
Stacking the Shelves is a feature hosted at Team Tynga’s Reviews. It’s all about sharing what books you’ve gotten recently.

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Mara by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle | The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson | Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor | The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer Smith | The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides by Ben Tripp | The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken | Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Nil by Lynne Matson | Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine

That’s a gosh-darn lot of books. I’m excited to read all of them, and might have some more reviews in store!

mini-reviews

18188160Acclaimed creator BRIAN WOOD (The Massive, DMZ, X-Men) and brilliant newcomer MING DOYLE (Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Four, Girl Comics) bring you MARA, the story of an especially gifted woman in a sports- and war-obsessed future. When she starts manifesting strange superpowers, the world that once embraced her turns against her, and for this young woman who once had it all, it’s almost too much to bear. Both an intimate coming-of-age story and an epic superhero drama, MARA takes the genre to new places.

*SPOILERS FOR MARA AHEAD*

MARA is a graphic novel, and it’s super short. Like 136-pages-long-short. So you’d think there would be a lot crammed into those 136 pages, right? Actually…it was the opposite. It was a very, very open story. There’s more books, I think, but still.
Mara herself was a really interesting character. In, what, a day or two (?), she goes from super-famous human that everyone loves to a sort of freaky superhero girl who almost blows everything up (eep).

I liked her brother and Ingrid a lot as well, but some more explanation on her brother’s “death” would’ve been nice. I thought he died, and that was the whole reason she almost blew up Earth, but then he was on the spaceship?

Overall, it was interesting and quirky- a nice fast read. Also, really awesome artwork.

Rating: 3/5 smilies

6604794Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

I LOVED I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson- her second YA novel. This one, though, I just disliked. Lennie wasn’t very interesting- I couldn’t sympathize with her at all. Toby was just- BLEGH. TOBY YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN ALL THAT. UGH. Lennie’s Gram and Uncle Big were interesting- I liked them well enough. Joe was… okay, I guess? He was kinda cliche. There were tons of cliches, speaking of which- perfect lovely boys and LOVE TRIANGLES URGH and the “I should never have trusted you” lines.

Rating: 1/5 smilies

22172325Books, libraries, and newspapers have at last become things of the past. Now handheld Memes allow for constant communication and entertainment. They can even anticipate our needs, dialing the doctor before we know we’re sick, or prompting us with words we can’t recall. Yet a few dedicated wordsmiths are still laboring on the final print edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language. But one evening, right before it’s released, Anana Johnson finds that the chief editor—her father—has vanished.

In alternating points of view, Anana and her bookish colleague Bart follow their only clue, the word ALICE, down the proverbial rabbit hole, into subterranean passages, the stacks of the Mercantile Library, and secret meetings of an anti-Meme underground resistance, racing closer to the truth about Anana’s father’s disappearance, and discovering a frightening connection to the growing “word flu” pandemic.

I really wanted to get into this book. I did. It’s called a “nerdy dystopic thriller”, for gosh’s sake. It’s just…really long, and sometimes does large infodumps and reads like a textbook. I’m putting it aside for now, and I will pick it back up again, but not when I have books like Dreams of Gods and Monsters on my TBR. Anana is a cool character, I guess, and so is Bart… but I just can’t get into it.

Rating: DNF

Have you read any of these books? What books have you read recently?

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